(By Kim Ryan) Annie Meehan, international speaker, author of 5 books (and counting), and Certified Coach & Mental Wellness Expert spoke to a rapt crowd Wednesday night at the Fort Myers Beach Woman’s Club. She wowed them.
Meehan, who celebrated her first year anniversary as a beach resident, previously worked for an investment banking company, then owned and operated gyms, before changing gears to a career speaking and writing on health and wellness. She now specializes in working with organizations and corporations speaking and providing workshops that inspire, educate and activate audiences. Her message: ‘break counterproductive patterns and be the exception.’
Throughout the evening, Meehan shared her challenging past with wit and grace explaining how she moved 83 times by the age of 18, lost her brother to suicide and placed a child up for adoption. Meehan wants to help others with their negative self-talk and eliminate shame, stigma and silence around difficult issues. “I’m here to get people to like themselves,” she said. In that vein she’s organized a walk set for July 28th at Newton Park at 6:30 pm. She asked people to wear something colored like pink which symbolizes compassion and kindness or yellow to symbolize happiness or optimism.
Meehan had the group rate on a scale of 1-10 how they were doing in 7 life categories: physical, emotional, mental, relational, financial, spiritual, and career. Then asked them to pick one and walked them through a strategy she terms CANES to achieve better health. She stressed the importance of not setting expectations too high and that commitment plus consistency equals change. Nan Williams, one of the attendees, stated “I was enlightened and motivated to work on myself and make some big changes.”
Another point she illuminated was the difference between a judgment and a curiosity statement. The latter is more questioning why or what happened and treating people including yourself with compassion. This idea resonated with beach resident and Woman’s Club member Brenda Atterholt who said “during this time when there is so much division it was refreshing to hear someone talk about the importance of loving others and encouraging us to approach those in need with kindness and curiosity.”
One of Meehan’s books, The Pineapple Principle provides a visual representation of three steps on how to live your life. The idea developed from a simple poem she was taught: stand up straight, wear a crown and be sweet on the inside. Stand up so you can see people not looking down at your phone or other distractions, wear a crown signifying valuing yourself and others, and be sweet exuding kindness and encouragement. She also has written Be the Exception, 7 keys to transformation as well as accompanying journals and a bible study companion guide.
The presentation was chock full of helpful stories and strategies which not only entertained but enlightened the group during her lively presentation. Her message resonated with attendees like Woman’s Club Board Member Angie Deters who said, “Annie is a breath of fresh air. She offered pragmatic ways to set forth a new course to live more full exceptional lives. I’m excited to use her tools in my life.”
Attendees praised the Women’s Club for the amazing event, the impact it makes through fundraising on Fort Myers Beach for non-profit groups, and the opportunity it provides to meet people. As one member put it, ‘the club is a wonderful organization that not only enlightens its membership but also provides an opportunity to make new friends.’
You can get more information on Annie Meehan, her books, online courses and other events HERE.
Check out the Woman’s club HERE and consider attending a meeting and see about joining.